Frontier Developments has revealed a new design for the Stormcast Eternals Liberator wearing Thunderstrike Armor for its upcoming real-time strategy game, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Realms of Ruin. While this appears to be a cosmetic variant in the videogame, it has big implications for the Age of Sigmar tabletop wargame.
According to a press statement, the unit will feature in Realms of Ruin “on day one, and you’ll be able to alternate between the Classic variant of the Liberator and this newer iteration in Conquest Mode and Multiplayer using a loadout menu”. What’s significant here is that this is the first time we’ve seen this design; while Liberators exist in tabletop Age of Sigmar, they don’t wear Thunderstrike armor. Yet.
Stormcast Eternals were the first new Age of Sigmar army, making their debut in the first edition of the game way back in 2015. Oversized, gold-plated, with unmoving metal face masks, they marked a stark departure from the grounded, pseudo-renaissance fantasy of the Warhammer Old World. The chunky design design was intended, at least in part, to make it easier for new players to paint the miniatures in their Age of Sigmar starter set.
The Stormcast range has been expanded in each new edition of Age of Sigmar, and their distinctively chunky armor was given a design overhaul in third edition. New units wearing svelte Thunderstrike armor appeared in the Dominion launch box set.
Thunderstrike armor doesn’t just look different, it functions differently in the lore, explosively launching Stormcasts souls towards the realm of Azyr when they die to ensure they escape the pall of darkness created by the Chaos prince Be’lakor at the end of the ‘Broken Realms’ narrative. But so far, no classic Stormcast Units have appeared wearing the upgraded armor.
Given Games Workshop is currently releasing another series of narrative expansions for Age of Sigmar, a sure sign of the end of an edition, we expect we will see fourth edition in Summer 2024. A new edition means new Stormcast models. Given the reveal of the Liberator in Thunderstrike Armor in Realms of Ruin, we would bet folding money the Stormcast Eternals range is going to be refreshed, wearing shiny new Thunderstrike armor.